EDITORIAL: Canadians big on U.S. vote

NANAIMO: Fever for U.S. politics hopefully inspires B.C. voters in May.

The good news is election apathy appears to be dwindling in Canada.

The bad news is the election outcome Canadians were most interested in was the United States presidential race.

Whether there was a genuine concern surrounding the future relationship between the two countries, or perhaps a cross-border spillover from the massive $6 billion campaign waged over the last year, Canadians paid close attention to the results.

Even the Canadian news networks gave top coverage to incumbent Barack Obama’s victory over Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

And rightly so.

While the U.S. has taken the economic recession on the chin, it is still the most powerful country on the planet and plays a huge part in Canada’s economy, security and, to a point, social challenges.

The relationship between Prime Minister Stephen Harper and who was chosen to live in the White House for the next four years was also a hot topic for Canadians. The debate over what Harper/Obama or Harper/Romney would mean to Canada was interesting with many on both sides fearing the worst.

But it’s going to be the devil we know, so perhaps some of that enthusiasm for politics can make its way north of the 49th Parallel – and particularly for B.C. with a provincial election looming in May.

Premier Christy Clark and NDP leader Adrian Dix might not have the $6-billion campaign budget to play with, or the cavalcade of entertainment stars to call on, but there are lessons to be learned on how to rouse an electorate whose numbers have been dismal when it comes to heading to the polls to vote.

Canadians got caught up in the show that was the U.S. election. It’s time to show the same fever here at home.